Your Mascara: Hazardous to Your Health?

iStock_mascara eyeI clicked the key into the ignition–ready to run errands, list in hand–when it hit me: I needed to FIRST check the Environmental Working Group’s SKIN DEEP cosmetic safety database, a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products. With a sigh, I got out of the car and hightailed it back to my office to look up Cover Girl mascara, a brand I’ve used off and on for years because it doesn’t clump or smudge and costs less than ten bucks. Shock. The database rated it 4–“moderately hazardous” with ingredients linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, and more. And to top it off, the first ingredient is Petroleum Distillates.

How had I let this slip through the cracks?

Luckily, the database provides a list of mascaras rated in the 0-2 range (low hazard), which I’d rather use since sight is one of the senses I do not wish to mess around with. Nor do I need to subject myself knowingly to toxic ingredients. Only one brand was rated zero. But even the 1-2 “low hazard” rated mascaras noted concerns about neurotoxicity, bioaccumulation and organ system toxicity.  I guess that’s a risk I’m going to have to live with because, as a woman, I can’t possibly live without mascara.

I encourage you to check out the database for safety info on everything from make-up and skin care to oral care and fragrance… and be sure to share it with those you care about!

What’s in your mascara?

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